As you grow up, you take the responsibilities and stop being dependent upon your parents. As a part of the growing process, you hustle to either earn something or take good education yourself.
In this regard, the government offers different grants and loans. Financial and educational experts always recommend students to apply for government grants through FAFSA.
Now the question is, what is FAFSA and how it can help you bear your educational expenses.
What is FAFSA
FAFSA is an application written to the government for an educational grant. This application includes every financial detail of the student, such as assets, family income, student income, cost of attendance, etc.
After verifying these details, the government gives students their FAFSA score, and through that score, students can easily apply for grants and loans.
Moreover, funds are provided to the schools. Therefore, they give grants to the students using that score. For example, a student with a high FAFSA score is likely to get different grants and loans.
How you can apply for FAFSA?
To make an application for FAFSA, you need to follow some step-by-step guides:
- First of all, visit fafsa.ed.gov and read the brief information about FAFSA
- Now create an account by filling in your personal information such as name, address, social security number, and more
- Then add your academic details such as school name, year in which you are appearing or going to appear college. You also have to mention which field of study you want to take up
- If you have done this correctly then click on the next button. Now FAFSA will ask for your details about your parents. So enter their name, social security number, and more
- As it comes to the financial part of your life, you have to provide details about home equity, savings, cash on hand, etc
- After entering all the information correctly click on the save button. Now submit this application before the deadline because no application can be submitted after that time
After filling up FAFSA Form, there are chances of low eligibility for student loans or grants depending upon their family income or assets. However, if academic performance is high then students can easily apply for all types of loans through FAFSA form. They have to first submit this form at respective colleges if they want money from college or university.
On the other hand, you can also take loans from banks. For that, FAFSA form submission is mandatory at your bank branch. Therefore, to apply for a student loan through a direct government or designated organization then always go with FAFSA application process.
What are the benefits of FAFSA
There are different types of grants and loans for students who want to pursue higher education but due to their financial conditions; they cannot afford it. Federal Pell Grant is one such example that provides need-based aid to those students financially well off but unable to manage their whole tuition fee. It has been seen that many times bright minds fail in the race of achieving higher education because of wrong counsels. They listen to people who say no to the idea of FAFSA application. Therefore, it is always better to go with experts who constantly guide students for higher education and help them get money through FAFSA application process.
What other scholarships are available
In addition to that, students can also apply for scholarships and grants using other forms too. To decide the right option for you, consider going through the federal guidelines. Some of the best options include Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Stafford Student Loans, and many more.
Another great way to get student loans is through work-study programs. These programs provide students with money which can be used for educational purposes only. To get this scholarship, you need an employer who has a contract with your college or university. Usually, employers take part in such programs and hire students according to their qualifications and skills. Moreover, they also offer scholarships whenever possible because it helps them get bright minds at a low cost
Now you are familiar with the government grants, and now you might be asking how much financial aid you can get in a semester. Well, below, we have explained each and everything in detail.
How USA government distributes the money?
The department of education is responsible for giving grants to the students. However, every year congress votes decide the budget of every department. Below we have explained how much financial aid you can get in a semester.
By utilizing PELL Grant
Pell grant is often referred to as free money because as long as you qualify the strict criteria, the government will not stop the funding for the next six years. However, you can avail of $6195 annually using the Pell grant.
Pell Grant provides you funds after every semester, and it’s like if your grant is $3,000, the school will make two proportions of it and hand it over to you after deducting tuition fee, books expense, and lodging fee.
These grants are provided on need-based criteria. So, the figures of your grant can differ from individual to individual.
You can qualify for $5,920 per year of your undergraduate studies. This is pretty much helpful especially if you are pursuing Bachelors degree in Mathematics or English.
The maximum Pell Grant amount given to the graduate student is $8,400. Now there are some researches that show that most of the people who have earned master's degrees had their funding from this grant only. Therefore, making it easier for everyone to pursue higher education without any struggle is actually a great thing
By utilizing Stafford Loan
Now, Student loans are often considered an alternative to grants because you don’t have to return them unless you find a job with good salary package. However, they are expensive compared to grants, and you can borrow $5,500 per year.
In case you are studying in a 4-year program then the total amount you can borrow is around $23,000 whereas with 2 years degree the most you can borrow is around $12,000. Unfortunately, there is no provision for borrowing higher amounts. Student loans have to be paid within 10 years of graduation or else they become really expensive because of interest rates
By utilizing Parent Loans
There are many parents who want their child to study further after 12th grade but due to budget concerns; they cannot support financially. In such cases, Federal PLUS Loans come as a savior because these loans don’t need any credit check and anyone is eligible to apply for such loans. The interest rate for such loans is 7.9 %, and the borrower will have to start repaying after 6 months of graduation usually in monthly installments
Now, these were some of the top federal student loan programs you can avail of without any hassle because they are a blessing in disguise. Apart from these options, there are many private educational institutions which offer education support via grants or scholarships depending on your qualification and background
By utilizing work Study Programs
You might think that only students who have no financial problem get jobs via work-study programs but this is not true. In fact, most college campuses provide job opportunities to all students irrespective of their financial status so that they can take part in gaining practical experience during schooling itself. The best thing about work-study programs is that the wages are also pretty good, and you will either get paid by the hour or month. The government provides around $4000 per year for part-time jobs which should be more than enough for covering living expenses
It’s a myth that students who have engaged in part-time jobs don’t enjoy their college life to the fullest because contrary to it they actually take more interest in studies as well as other activities. Therefore, making them way better candidates during campus recruitment campaigns.
This government grant is primarily for the schools that participate in the federal supplementary education opportunity grant. Several schools are not included in the list, but the students who participate can avail of grants from $100 - $4,000.
Again it is also a need-based grant. Therefore, the students are given grants according to their needs.
This grant is provided to the people who have a passion for teaching in the future. Government signs a contract with the student that he/she will only choose the profession of teaching. Grants are given to the students according to their educational level.
If you do not meet the requirements set by the government or if you break the rule, you will have to pay the full amount back to the government.
Undergraduates can avail themselves of not more than $2,000 per semester, and if we talk about the graduate students, they can also get the same amount.
By utilizing Institutional Grants
Institutions always provide grants to deserving students. This means that if you qualify for admission in a college or university, then there is a big chance that you will get 50% fee waivers for the first year. There are some schools which provide 100% fee waiver for full four years of education after 12th grade.
As you have seen, there are plenty of options available to you when taking secondary education. But one thing you have to keep in mind is never waste this opportunity and take its full benefit.
This is all you need to know about government grants, and now it is your turn to decide the most appropriate funding and work towards it.